Dunlop destroys lap record to take Senior TT win

by Joshua Close

Micheal Dunlop smashed his own outright lap record to take victory in the Senior TT – the final race of the 2016 Isle of Man TT.

The Hawk Racing BMW rider lapped at 133.962mph as he captured his 13th victory around the Mountain Course. Dunlop ended the race 31.4 seconds ahead of Ian Hutchinson, with John McGuinness completing the podium.

Dunlop made a positive start to the race and had already accumulated a 1.8 second lead over Hutchinson by the time the riders had reached Glen Helen on the opening lap. Dean Harrison was a further 1.6 seconds down the road, with Lee Johnstone, Gary Johnson and Peter Hickman rounding out the top six.

The leader completed his first lap with a speed of 133.256mph and led by 2.8 seconds. Hickman had moved up into third place – eight seconds behind Hutchinson.

On the second lap Hutchinson had taken the lead on the road but was unable to eat-in to Dunlop’s lead. In fact, the leader’s second lap was the new outright lap record of 133.962mph as he increased his lead to 9.2 seconds.

Behind the leading duo, Bruce Anstey had fought his way through to third position following the retirement of Hickman at Brandywell.  McGuinness meanwhile had fought his way through from ninth into fourth place.

McGuinness improved further during the pit-stops and moved into a podium position by the time he reached Glen Helen on lap three.

Lap three brought Johnson’s race to an end as he retired at Appledene, whilst David Johnson slid off his Norton at Sulby Bridge.

As the riders came back into the pits for their second stop Dunlop held a 10.6 second lead over Hutchinson, who was circulating on the road with McGuinnness.

Dunlop’s crew worked brilliantly and they got their rider back out onto the course quicker than Hutchinson, adding five seconds to his lead.

The quick pit-stop clearly gave Dunlop plenty of confidence and he overtook McGuinness and Hutchinson on the road as he powered through to take victory.

Hutchinson’s second place was enough for him to take a comfortable victory in the Joey Dunlop TT Championship, with 115 points, ahead of Harrison and Dunlop.

McGuinness also held on for his 46th TT podium with Harrison, Anstey and Conor Cummins rounding out the top six positions.

Dan Hegarty was the first privateer finisher in 11th, which was enough to clinch the TT Privateer’s Championship with 91 points, 19 ahead of Jamie Coward.

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